New Brussels warning on Crete link, all lawful Greek side insists

The European Commission has sent local authorities handling the Crete-Athens grid interconnection’s development a new warning to observe terms set by Brussels and nullify a decision giving Ariadne Interconnection, an IPTO power grid operator-backed special purpose vehicle, control of the project or risk losing its PCI status.

The Brussels letter, forwarded to Greece’s energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and IPTO, is the latest reminder of the adamant stance being maintained by both sides in the dispute.

IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider Greek, Cypriot and Israeli PCI-status interconnection plan, have fought for control over the Crete-Athens segment.

All moves made by Greek side are lawful and based on terms agreed to between IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector, energy ministry sources have told energypress.

The initiative taken by Greek authorities to give the Ariadne Interconnection SPV control of the Crete-Athens grid link has put in place procedures for the swift development of the interconnection project, pivotal to resolving Crete’s energy shortage threat as of 2020, the ministry sources added.

Diesel-fired power stations operated on the island by the main power utility PPC will need to have stopped running by the end of 2019.

IPTO is currently working on launching a tender for the Cretan interconnection in the first quarter of 2019. An environmental impact study has been submitted while a deep-sea survey has been completed, Manos Manousakis, chief executive at IPTO, informed last week.